Poll: Likud 28, Lapid 13, Bennett 8 - and just 3 for Shas

Could Shas be left out of next Knesset? New survey shows Moshe Feiglin's Zehut and Baruch Marzel's Otzma Yehudit at 2 seats each.

David Rosenberg ,

Left to right: Bennett, Gilad Erdan, Netanyahu, Yisrael Katz
Left to right: Bennett, Gilad Erdan, Netanyahu, Yisrael Katz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Could the Sephardic haredi party Shas be left out of the 21st Knesset?

A new poll conducted by the Maagar Mohot agency for Israel Hayom shows Shas, the largest haredi faction in the Knesset, falling below the minimum electoral threshold.

The current electoral threshold of 3.25% requires a party to win the equivalent of 3.9 seats’ worth of votes to gain representation in the Knesset. Shas, which has been represented in every Knesset since 1984, has been the largest haredi party for the past three decades. In 1999, during the trial of former Shas chief Aryeh Deri, the party soared to 17 seats, the most a haredi faction has ever won.

In recent years, however, the party has been in decline, falling to 12 then 11 seats, before sinking to just 7 mandates in 2015, after former Shas chief Eli Yishai bolted from the party and ran on at the helm of the new Yahad faction.

According to the new Maagar Mohot poll, Shas would win enough votes for just three seats, slightly below the minimum threshold. This is the first time since March 2018 that Shas has fallen below the minimum threshold in a poll.

If elections were held today, the poll shows, the Likud would remain the largest faction, with 28 seats, far ahead of Hosen Yisrael (Israel Resilience Party), which would win 13 seats. Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz founded the new faction last week.

In third place, according to the new poll, is former Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid faction, which would rise to 13 seats, two more than it won in 2015.

The predominantly Arab Joint List, which won 13 seats in 2015, would plummet to just 9 according to the new survey, the lowest number of seats the party has been projected to win by any poll in the past year and a half.

Following the breakup of the Zionist Union, Labor would win just 7 seats, while Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah faction would barely clear the minimum threshold with just 4 mandates.

The far-left Meretz faction would gain a seat, rising to five, while former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy’s new Gesher party would win five seats.

The centrist Kulanu faction would slip to six seats from its current 10, while the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism party would retain its six seats.

Yisrael Beytenu would fall to just four mandates, barely clearing the electoral threshold.

The Jewish Home party would fall from eight seats to four, following the departure of Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Shuli Mualem to the New Right party, which would win eight seats.

While former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s party failed to pick up enough votes for a mandate, ex-Likud MK Moshe Feiglin’s new faction, Zehut (Identity) would win enough votes for two seats – though it would fail to cross the electoral threshold.

Another right-wing faction, Otzma Yehudit, would also win enough votes for two seats, but fail to enter the Knesset.